Pushing your Limits

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2013 is over.  I really didn’t have a mileage goal for the year, but ended up putting in 1,134 miles.  This included 16 races.  Racing miles totaled 255.1.  That’s 5 marathons, 9 halves and 2 5k’s.  Almost a quarter of my overall miles were put in during races.  That is an interesting stat to me.  Really just goes to show that I enjoy competing and pushing my limits.  My goal for 2014 will be to reach the same.

My main goal for last year was to remain injury free.  Check!  Secondary goal was to run a combination of 13 half and full marathons throughout the 2013 season.  Check!  Where does that leave me for 2014?  I would like to log 1,200 miles this year, and qualify for Boston.  Of course, all the while remain injury free again.

When setting goals, do you go for broke?  Really push the envelope?  I like to set goals that are achievable, yet lofty.  Boston is a lofty goal for me.  Can I do it?  I’d like to think I can.  Will I qualify?  That is yet to be seen.  A runner friend of mine recently said that he plans on running less, but getting faster In the new year.  That running a five hour marathon just isn’t fun enough anymore.  I guess as we begin our running journeys, it’s great to pass milestones.  To run that first 5k, to work up to distance racing, if that’s what one chooses.  Running a first Half or Full is a huge accomplishment.  Finishing is usually the only goal for a first timer.  Once having run a few to several distance races, just finishing isn’t good enough anymore.  I like to get better, to push my limits.  At this point, running a marathon over four hours would be a disappointment.  For me, this would mean that my body didn’t react and do what I have trained it to do.  I enjoy running distance, and after setting a new marathon PR at the end of 2013, I would be lying if I told you that setting another PR at the marathon distance this year wasn’t important to me.  Is it.  So is qualifying for Boston.

I will push my limits, and go for it.  I have to keep telling myself to run harder, run faster.  That is the only way I will get to Boston.  I will be disappointed if I don’t qualify this year, but as long as I am making progress toward that goal, I will be ok with it.

How are you going to push your limits in 2014?

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Resolve to Run

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As another year comes to a close, it’s pretty typical to set some goals for the year ahead.  It’s also common to look back, reflect and relish in self achievement for the year that’s passing.  I know one thing is for sure.  If we put one foot in front of the other in the new year, we continue to move forward, not back.

So many New Year’s Resolutions revolve around fitness.  Getting fit, losing weight, putting aside those things in life that may impede our forward movement.  These are all great things.  How about spending more quality time with our children, or performing harder at work?  Save more money for retirement, finish those home improvement projects.  All attainable goals, all worth working toward.  The important thing about a resolution is to pick something that is measurable.  People often fail at resolutions because they lose focus on them over time.  If it’s important enough to set the goal as a new year begins, then that should say something.  We desire this change, and it deserves attention and focus.  Not just for a week, or month, but all year.

After running over 1,100 miles in 2013, I resolve to run more in 2014.  I resolve to run smarter, have more fun, and race distances and races that give me better chances at achieving my goal of getting to the Boston Marathon one day.  Of course I am shooting for a qualifying time for 2015, but in the end, if I don’t achieve this goal, I resolve to have fun trying.  I will not kill myself trying to get there, but I will harder in the new year to achieve this goal.

In 2013, I set a new marathon PR.  3:32:24 is my new best, and to qualify for Boston, I need to run a marathon in 3:25:00 or better.  That means cutting my overall pace by 17 seconds.  Specific goal, and surely measurable.  My fastest Half of the year was 1:39:00, a pace of 7:33, on a hilly course to boot.  That pace in a full marathon would put me under my goal.  So, I have to work on endurance and speed.  Going faster, for longer.  Not giving up, and not settling for just a finish.  It has to be a faster finish.  After all, the Boston Marathon qualifiers are the cream of the crop in the sport of running.  To toe the line in Boston, one has to earn that spot.

So, in 2014, I resolve to run……

Smarter

Swifter

Stronger

Three “S’s” will be the key to my SUCCESS.

Happy New Year to you all, and have fun setting those goals, and running toward them in 2014!  It’s time to make life more fun, to set new standards, and to better one’s life.

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